Image by Jeff Gross
The Los Angeles Kings evened the score against their rivals to the south, the Anaheim Ducks at the Staples Center on Saturday, November 15th. The two teams met for just the second time this season, with the first meeting occurring just three days earlier, but in Anaheim. The Kings took the lead early in that game which took place on November 12th, but the Ducks fought hard and came from behind and won it 6-5 in a shootout. Their second match-up also went all the way to overtime, but this time, the Kings were determined to come out on top and squeaked out the difference maker in OT to win it 3-2.
There was no score in the first period, but Emerson Etem got the Ducks on the board first, scoring his second goal of the season. The Kings retaliated quickly, Tyler Toffoli scoring the shorthanded goal to even the score. Anaheim took the lead again late into the period, Ryan Kesler making it 2-1 Ducks on top with his sixth goal of the season. Anze Kopitar scored on a power play for Los Angeles to tie the game at 2-2 with 10:35 left in the third. A winner could not be decided in regulation, so the game went into overtime. The Kings went on the power play 23 seconds into the OT and Jarret Stoll netted the game winner during the extra-man advantage. Frederik Andersen made 34 saves on 37 shots for Anaheim, while Jonathan Quick stopped 27 of 29 shots.
Stoll’s overtime goal ended a scoring drought for the 32-year old forward who hadn’t scored since April 9th. Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter shuffled up some of his lines for the match-up against the Ducks, placing Jeff Carter on a line with Kopitar and Marian Gaborik.
Corey Perry was out of the line-up again for Anaheim with the mumps. He began skating with the team Thursday, but did not play against the Kings. He is speculated to return to the line-up soon, perhaps as early as Sunday, November 15th when the Ducks host the Florida Panthers. The two times we have seen the Kings and Ducks play, it has been an exciting three periods of hockey. Both teams play a fast-paced, physical game supported by strong goaltending performances from both ends. The Kings advance to within two points of the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks and are four points behind the Ducks.